When it comes to straightening your teeth as an adult, you may, for whatever reason, wish to do so as inconspicuously as possible. That is possible with modern orthodontics. Ceramic braces are almost invisible as are Invislign aligners, however, when it comes to discretion, lingual braces are at the top of the pile. Because they are fixed to the backs of teeth rather than the front, to the untrained eye (most people), they are invisible.
Although lingual braces straighten teeth slightly faster than other types of brace, it may still take at least 6 months before you begin to see substantial changes in your smile. This leaves one problem. Your crooked teeth and gaps will not go away overnight. If, for work or social reasons, you would like to combine your orthodontic treatment with veneers to hide gaps while your lingual braces do their work, this may not be the best course of action.
The Lingual Braces Will Render Your Veneers Useless
Placing veneers on teeth whilst wearing your lingual braces, or just before treatment starts, is not advisable. No matter how well the veneers fit at first, once the teeth behind them begin to move, the positioning of the veneers will also change. Likewise, the spacing between your teeth will be altered by the braces, possibly interfering with the symmetry of the veneers.
Veneers Work Best on Straight Teeth
Consider also that when veneers are placed on crooked or misaligned teeth, such as when patients wish to forgo orthodontic treatment in favour of instant results, tooth structure must be sacrificed. To attach the veneers, up to .5mm of enamel must be removed, otherwise with the addition of the veneers, the teeth may appear bulky.
This could mean removing enamel from the side of a tooth rather than the mesial surface (front). This not only needlessly weakens the tooth, but it also means that the lingual braces may struggle to straighten those teeth whilst the veneers are attached. It would be a much better idea to first orthodontically straighten your teeth, then attach the veneers to the newly straightened teeth.
Veneers are not Temporary
Closing gaps with veneers whilst wearing lingual braces, in order to achieve immediate aesthetic results, renders your lingual braces useless. While veneers can be removed, your teeth will be weaker as a result of the need to remove enamel from the surface of teeth during their placement. This means veneers are not a temporary fix that can cover gaps until lingual braces have straightened your teeth.
A better option, to achieve immediate aesthetic results that won't interfere with the work of your lingual braces, is composite bonding.
Composite Bonding Can be Adjusted
Unlike veneers, which are generally made of porcelain, composite bonding can be applied and then later adjusted as your orthodontic treatment progresses. For instance, if you are about to embark on a new career path but are worried about how the gaps between your teeth might affect your work, composite bonding can compliment lingual braces.
Once your lingual braces are fixed to the backs of your teeth, a cosmetic dentist can then apply composite resin to temporarily close the gaps while the braces slowly pull the teeth into position. While combining the two will require constant communication between your orthodontist and a cosmetic dentist, this will give you both immediate results and long term results. As your orthodontic treatment progresses, the composite bonding will be gradually removed until the end of your orthodontic treatment when it will no longer be needed.
As an adult, it is possible to straighten your teeth without anyone, even your family members, knowing. With over 30 percent of orthodontic patients being over the age of 20 in Australia, braces and adults are no longer such a taboo combination. For more information, contact specialists like Dr Peter Vaughan Specialist Orthodontist.